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_ By Claude C. Jones 

Time must pass, and friends must leave; 
Sons must die, and Mothers grieve; 
But God made dreams so we might see 
Our friends in memory. 
In memory we see a liost 
Of friends we loved and cherished most; 
But if we failed to tell them so, 
Regret will turn our dreams to woe. 
The deeds we do, the words we say 
Are weaving memories today; 
And the web we weave today will be 
Some tomorrow's memory, 

— Jeaxke De Good, 

Kansas City Poetry Magazine. 

North Carolina became my home in 1908 when I began a pastorate in New 
Bern. I was 29. I had been a student in Bethany College, W. Va., and had 
received degrees from Washington Christian College and George Washington 
University. I had enjoyed the rare privilege of being assistant to Peter 
Ainslie in Baltimore, Md., and of participating there with F. D. Power and 
W. S. Hoye in the dedicatory services of Christian Temple, September 28- 
October 1, 1907. 

My first pastorate after graduation from Washington Christian College 
was in Mt. Rainier, Maryland, a suburb of Washington. My ministry there 
gave me the opportunity of intimate association with F. D. Power, E, B. 
Bagby, James E, Stuart (later a pastor in Wilson, N. C), B. A. Abbott, and 
Peter Ainslie. 

The climate of Washington was unfavorable to me and caused me to 
have severe colds continually. In view of this a move seemed necessary. 
Thanks to W. G. Walker, State Secretary of North Carolina, and W. J. 
Wright, Secretary of the American Christian Missionary Society and my 
friend for the previous six years, it was made possible for me to locate in 
New Bern. 

The New Bern Church was one large room on Hancock St. where railroad 
trains passed, site now occupied by Pollock Funeral Home. The people were 
friendly and cooperative. On my first trip there to preach, I had to change 
trains in Goldsboro. At that depot I learned a forgotten lesson in courtesy. 
I had lived the first 21 years of my life in New Orleans, but the next eight 
were spent first in Bethany and then largely in Baltimore and Washington. 
I lived in the national capital six years. The city was filled with people 
from everywhere. Of course there was the hurry of a big city and each 

man looked out lor himself. I had become so adjusted to this sort of life 
that as soon as the ticket window in Goldsboro was opened I stepped up 
quickly to buy my ticket. Imagine my embarrassment to find every one in 
the waiting room courteously giving way to me. This same courtesy I 
found in New Bern as I met my ov/n brethren in the church and other people 
in places of business. 

With eagerness to serve, I set myself the task of regular visiting, careful 
study, and earnest, prayerful efforts at soul winning. We had many converts. 
In 1909 I preached a series of sermons on our pioneers. Many articles in 
TJie Cliristian SUnuJard were most informative. In those days the editorial 
policy of this paper had not gone as far from the ideals of Isaac Errett, 
the founder, as it did later. 

The New Bern Church released me to attend the Centennial Convention 
in Pittsburgh in 1909. I recall one day when I had a seat on the platfoi^in, 
several leaders were each given one minute to speak. A. McLean of the 
Foreign Missionary Society was there. He was a man of brilliant intellect 
and deep devotional spirit but his voice was poor. S. M. Martin, a heavy 
set evangelist with a big voice, was introduced. He said, "Bro. McLean 
was telling me he wished he had my voice and I said, 'I wish I had your 
mind.' " From all over the vast throng came sounds of, "Amen." Then 
amid much laughter S. M. Martin stood there in silence during the entire 
minute. I also remember that Samuel Harden Church, grandson of Elder 
Walter Scott, was a speaker. He said, "You preachers know so much, let 
me ask you how old was Methuselah?" Many voices called out. "Nine hun- 
dred and sixty-nine years." To this the conceited Mr. Church asked, "Don't 
you know that a tablet has been discovered show^ing the year was only 27 
days long?" At this, E. B. Bagby of Washington, D. C. called out, "If that 
was so then his father was years old when Methuselah was born." 

The New Bern Church enjoyed evangelistic meetings conducted by Judge 
J. A. Erwin, pastor in Wilmington. I also held one series of meetings at 
New Bern, during which we not only used the church but had open air 
meetings in the streets and across the river in Bridgeton. 

The New Bern Church was blessed with a talented organist. Miss Nina 
Basnight; a wealthy and devoted hardware merchant, J. S. Basnight; a 
faithful business man, F. M. Bowden; and a great soul who later became 
a missionary to Mexico, Miss Etta Nunn. Miss Etta gave up a teaching 
position in the New Bern schools to become state secretary for the Christian 
Women's Board of Missions. It was after my leaving New Bern that she 
dedicated herself to the work in Mexico. Years later it was a delight to 
welcome her for a brief visit in our California home. 

The ministers of New Bern were friendly. We occasionally exchanged 
pulpits. How well I remember J, W. Ham, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist 
Church! He preached his convictions with courage and had large congrega- 
tions. He knew conditions in the underw^orld so well that he located the 
blind tigers, secured evidence of the illegal sale of liquor, and testified in 
the courts. My calling seemed to be to go to the jail to see the men he 
had sent there. Sometimes I went to conduct services and sometimes alone to 
visit the prisoners. They became my friends and I hope God blessed my 
feeble efforts. The ministers of the city agreed to conduct a union teacher 
training course in which I was to teach. We used Herbert Moninger's, 
"Training For Service." The class met in the lecture room of the Presby- 


terian Church. We later used the Methodist Church for a demonstration of 
the accomplisliments of the class. 

W. G. Walker asked me to write the Sunday School material for each issue 
of The Caroli7ia EvuiKjel. This I continued to do after Bro. Walker had 
moved from the state and Jack R. Rountree, of Kinston, had become editor. 
Bro. Rountree was associated with The Kinstoii Free Press, a minister, and 
an active member of the Kinston Church. 

It was my privilege to be present at and participate in the dedication of 
our Wilmington Church, August 30, 1908. I recall the presence of W. G. 
Walker, J. C. Caldwell, president of Atlantic Christian College, and L. L. 
Carpenter, church dedicator. Bro. Carpenter told of a visit he had made 
to England. The Englishman who introduced him to a congregation, desiring 
to show courtesy made a special attempt to sound his h's. He introduced 
him as "Dr. Hell Hell Carpenter, Hell Hell D." President Caldwell preached 
one sermon, — a great sermon, — during the two aays of meetings. I spoke 
at one service. Wilmington treated the visitors with much hospitality 
which included a delightful boat trip. 

In vacation time I held evangelistic meetings in Jacksonville, Bridgeton, 
Stokesdale, Athens Chapel, Tranter's Creek, Hookerton, La Grange, Rosebud, 
Oak Grove, Rural Hall, and Bay Creek. North Carolina people enjoy their 
churches. And the "big meetings'" are the great gatherings of the year. All 
the congregations were large. Of course, since the meetings were held iu 
the fried chicken season, the minister was given some delicious dinners. 
What preacher doesn't like fried chicken? The baptismal services in streams 
near by were always impressive. What a privilege to tell the Gospel story 
and start the young and old in the way of the Lord! The quarterly district 
conventions, or union meetings, and the state (conventions were largely at- 
tended, and the programs and fellowship inspiring. 

On November 17-19, 1909, the state convention was held in Wilson. The 
young lady who was to become my bride the following June was then a 
teacher in Atlantic Christian College. At the close of the convention we 
planned a buggy ride before separating. The livery stable sent me a white 
horse. When I waited in the college reception room for my friend, the 
girls took charge of my entertainment. They crowded the room. Now girls 
have always been very sweet and charming, but this host was very embar- 
rassing. Probably my face was very red. When finally we sat in the buggy 
the horse refused to budge. My companion said, "Make it go." Well finally 
we did get away in full view of the girls. 

Five months after I had left New Bern for a pastorate in Jacksonville, 
Florida, I accepted an invitation from Hayes Farish to hold a meeting in 
La Grange, N. C. He knew I would be on my way to Vienna, Virginia, to 
marry Miss Beatrice Grayson, teacher of Greek in Atlantic Ciiristian College. 
Hayes Farish had been a member of my church in the suburbs of Washington 
and had gone from there to prepare for the ministry. At my suggestion he 
attended Atlantic Christian College. He made rapid progress and soon was 
occupying pulpits. After graduation he took advanced studies in Yale. 

He went from a pastorate in Belhaven to serve as a chaplain in World 
Wai- I. After the Avar he became pastor of Woodland Church, Lexington, 
Kentucky, where he has served 33 years. Beatrice Grayson, who was his 
teacher of Greek, was in my graduating class in Washington. She did other 


studying in Berlitz School of Languages. She later went to Milligan College, 
Tenn., as teacher of ancient and modern languages. She answered the call 
of President J. C. Caldwell to join the faculty of Atlantic Christian College. 
Some of the students in Wilson while she taught there and whose records 
in life have been outstanding were Hayes Farish, J. J. Walker, C. Manly 
Morton, C. F. Outlaw, C. B. Mashburn, and others. 

Near the close of the LaGrange meeting. Jack R. Rountree telephoned me 
from Kinston in an attempt to get me to visit the church there in the hope 
of becoming pastor. The following Monday, President Caldwell, who had 
filled the Kinston pulpit on Sunday, spent the day with me in La Grange 
in an effort to get me interested in Kinston. That was and is one of our 
greatest churches, but I thought it best to stay by my new work in Florida. 
It makes one smile to think of a young preacher, just 31, not seeking a call 
where such men as P. B. Hall. Bernard P. Smith, Abe Cory, Wayne Drash, 
and Rufus Hurt, gladly and successfully served for many years. After the 
LaGrange meeting I went to Virginia to my bride. We were married June 
29, 1910, and went to Florida. 

Twelve years elapsed before I again became a North Carolina pastor. 
This time it was to Elm St. Church, Greensboro, we went. That church was 
small, but made up of an exceptionally loyal people. The regular attendance 
at church was almost one hundred per cent of the membership. 

Their record as tithers was also far above the average. Some of the great 
souls of the church were the Trents, the Seburns, the Kings, the Kisers, 
the Atkinsons, the Fords, the Thomasons, the Rawls', and others. So many 
were true-blue, loyal to the church and genuine friends. The hospitality in 
their homes was the best. The women, were good cooks, too. My mouth 
waters even now as I think of Mrs. Seburn's angel food cakes. 

When the form of city government was changed at Greensboro the council 
was made up only of leading citizens, and our Claude Kiser was the efficient 

Evangelistic services were held by Lawson Campbell of Winston-Salem, 
and later by J. J. Taylor of Lexington, Ky. For a period of time I preached 
two Sunday afternoons each month in Stokesdale. Hayes Farish of Lexing- 
ton, Ky. held a meeting there one summer with splendid results. He gave 
the church a new vision. As a result a splendid modern building was 
erected. Hayes also discovered great possibilities of leadership in Paul C. 
Southard, one of the fine young men of the church. Paul entered Atlantic 
Christion College and became a minister. He married a splendid Stokesdale 
girl. It was a treat to welcome them into our California home in later years. 
I made a few trips to High Point in an effort to get a church started. As I 
had no car, the honor of succeeding in this venture was left for others in 
years that followed. 

Preston Bell Hall, pastor in New Bern, at this time, invited me to hold a 
series of meetings for his congregation. I had not been there for fourteen 
years. The reunions with old friends were glorious. I was guest in the 
home of J. S. Basnight and Miss Nina Basnight. Bro. Hall was leading the 
church in a building campaign in a desirable section of the city. Services 
were held in the basement of the unfinished church. Bro. Hall had developed 
the congregation remarkably. The attendance was more regular than in 
the early days. 


On May 11, 1919, the Elm St. Christian Church of Greensboro was dedi- 
cated by Bernard P. Smith of Kinston. The visiting minister was C. W. 
Howard of Kinston who preached at the evening service. 

The elders of the church were C. H. Wells, C. P. Evans, J. I. Thomason, 
and F. L. Atkinson. The deacons were Claude Kiser, C. K. Rawls, W. H. 
Seburn, S. W. Trent, John W. King, W. W. King, E. R. Ford, and W. T. 
Breeden. F. L. Atkinson was Bible School superintendent. Mrs. Claude 
Kiser was President of the Ladies' Aid Society. Mrs. Price was President 
of the Woman's Missionary Society. 

During my five years in Greensboro many interesting eveirts occurred. The 
ministers worked together well. I recall supplying Lutheran and Methodist 
pulpits and addressing a Vacation Bible School in a Presbyterian Church. 
One year the Greensboro Ministerial Association endorsed a series of meet- 
ings in the First Presbyterian Church with G. Campbell Morgan as speaker. 
This famous expositor drew only moderate sized congregations. Soon after- 
wards, "Cyclone Mack," an old-fashioned revivalisc, pitched an immense tent 
in the heart of the city and preached to throngs. He had not asked the 
backing of the ministers. 

It had always been my pleasure to preach special sermons to children. 1 
did this when in evangelistic meetings as well as in pastorates. Fourteen 
years after holding meetings in Hookerton, I was in Greensboro and had 
just preached in the Greensboro College for Women. Afterwards in a chat 
with our own Christian church girls at this college, one from Hookerton, 
who realized for the first time I was the man who preached to her as a child, 
cried out, 'Oh, Mr. Jones, you're the first preacher I ever loved." How heart- 
ening for the young people to remember! 

Every Sunday morning during the school year members of Elm St. Church 
provided their automobiles to transport Christian Church girls from the 
colleges to our Sunday School. The boys did the driving. Needless to say 
they did not find it a hardship to do so. F. L. Atkinson taught the college 
class. The girls all loved him and he was happy with them. 

Miss Joy Taylor was on the faculty of the State College for Women. She 
was loyal to our little church. One Sunday F. W. Burnham, President of 
the American Christian Missionary Society, was our pulpit guest. He recog- 
nized Miss Joy Taylor. Soon afterwards he had her on his staff in A. C. M. S. 

In the summer of 1920, our North Carolina churches had a campaign to 
raise funds for Atlantic Christian College, and cur church in Raleigh, and 
to help our Benevolent Homes in the Southeast. Charles C. Ware, who was 
successor to J. Fred Jones, as state secretary, led this campaign. His 
enthusiasm and intelligent handling of details meant much for its success. 
J. H. Mohorter of the National Benevolent Association was with us in the 
beginning and E. S. Muckley was in the campaign until its completion. I 
was honored with a place on the team. I recall Lee Sadler, Magruder E. 
Sadler, and the Mattox Brothers, among others, who were busy in this happy 
and successful task. 

When it came time to solicit Greensboro members, some men thought I 
would not want to solicit my own congregation. That would have been 
true in some churches, but not there. They had big hearts and welcomed 
the opportunity to give. In fact, Claude Kiser was so generous that I didn't 


have the heart to visit him. Others of the team did so and received a biK 

Ill those days some of our brethren throughout the United States were 
holding congresses, stimulated by The Christian t<iaudard. I have never ap- 
proved of the wrongful agitation of The Stand'^u'd against our brotherhood 
agencies but for years I subscribed to the paper and occasionally wrote arti- 
cles for it and The Lookout. Some of our dissenting North Carolina brethren 
called a congress to be held in Washington, N. C, June 13-15, 1922. They 
invited as their speakers R. E. Elmore and R. C. Foster. Both men at that 
time were Kentucky pastors. Charles C. Ware, alert to the situation, urged 
all of us co-operative preachers to attend. And we did so in large numbers. 
J. H. Mohorter attended from St. Louis, and made some very helpful state- 

The congress did not hurt our organized work. In his j'arewell talk on 
the final evening, R. E. Elmore thanked us for courteous treatment and ex- 
tended a cordial invitation to visit his and Bro. Foster's Kentucky churches. 
R. E. Elmore had held a short pastorate in the church I had previously 
served in Phoenix, Arizona. He and I had that interest in common and 
could chat pleasantly even though differing widely in our view points. He 
later returned to the Phoenix pastorate. Twice during his long years there 
lit; has written me very cordial invitations to visit that congregation. 

On one occasion in a conference in Washington, N. C, I was guest in a 
home with W. P. Shamhart, pastor of Greenville. We became good friends. 
Little did I guess that in my old age I would become intimately acquainted 
with his daughter and her husband. Col. Loren A. Wetherby, and their daugh- 
ter Mrs. Kay Peterson and the grandson, Eric. They are now my neigh- 

I had pleasant associations with Richard Bagby of Washington, N. C. He 
and I represented the state work at a union conference in Raleigh. It was 
his brother, E. B. Bagby, who ordained me to the ministry in our Ninth St. 
Church, Washington, D. C, Dec. 6, 1904. 

On one visit to Wilson I renewed my friendship with J. W. Humphreys. 
Pie had been my Sunday School superintendent in Jacksonville, Florida. 
And he was a very good one! After my departure from Jacksonville he felt 
the urge to enter the ministry, even though he was already a success in 
business. He studied first in the College of the Bible, Lexington, Kentucky, 
and then in Atlantic Christian College. He eventually earned his doctor of 
philosophy degree. 

When I was considering a call to Salt Lake City, an invitation came from 
the college at Wilson to address the students. After accepting the western 
call we found it possible to visit Wilson on the first step of our journey to 
the distant city. I spoke twice to the students. I also renewed friendships 
with H. S. Plilley, President of Atlantic Christian College, Charles C. Ware, 
State Secretary, and J. E. Stuart, pastor of the church. My wife had a 
happy reunion with friends, including Miss Frances F. Harper, mathematics 
teacher, and Miss Myrtle L. Harper, librarian for the college. Many years 
later these two friends and their sister Mrs. Mamie Whitley of Wendell, 
N. C, visited us in California. 

My home has been in California for nearly thirty years. After 37 happy 
years together my life's companion, an invalid for six years, went to the 


farther shore. This was on October 15, 1947. Our son, Joel Grayson Jones, 
and I live together and are busy in worth-while undertakings. 

I still have happy contacts with North Carolina. Greetings from Greensboro 
friends, news of the dedication of their beautiful church in a location well 
suited for growth, and letters from Charles C. Ware make me feel like I am 
still a part of the Christian life in the "Old North State." What a benedic- 
tion is the memory of friends and happy associations of the long ago. Many 
have ceased their earthly work, but golden memories remain. What a com- 
fort is memory as we journey toward the setting sun and then the shining- 
dawn of a l)]essed eternity! 

"Rememljer is a lovely word, 

And telescopes the years, 
Wlien sliding on time's avenue 

IVIemory appears . . . 
To bring to life for inner-eyes 

The pages of the past, 
Where tears and joys have merged to forin 

Rainbows that will last." 

(Patkicia Claffoud) 

It was my joy to know intimately Mrs. Princess C. Long, one of the sweet- 
est singers of our Brotherhood. Like many of my North Carolina friends 
of the long ago her sweet voice is no longer heard by mortal ears. Before 
her passing she composed an immortal hymn entitled, "At the End of the 
Way." In' her words I close these remembrances with the exhortation: 

"Let us tell of God's love while we may; 
Then when life's work is done. 
We will meet 'round the throne, 
In His home at the end of the way." 

Claudr C. Jonfs 

5657 Soderberg Ave., 
Covina, California, 
October (5. 1954. 

Editor's Note! While this pamphlet is in print, copies may be procured 
from the publisher. The Carolina Discipliana Library, C. C. Ware, Curator, 
Box 1164, Wilson N. C. at 50 cents per copy, or, 3 copies for $1.00. 








Onslow County, North Carolina was established in 1731-1734. The first 
settlers, Brown, Warren, and Worsley, were English, coming up the wide 
New River, to an ocean-fronting wilderness. A lone Frenchman, John 
Nasague followed in 1711, locating farther up-stream on its northwest 
branch at the "Rich Lands of New River", or Avirett, as later known for 
its chief plantation owner. Immigrants at first came slowly but by 1729 
there were 36 families in the new settlement, which rapidly increased to 
100 families by 1734. It was an enlarging neighborhood indicated to-day as 
the "seven-mile stretch of land" from Richlands to Catherine Lake. 

Aborigines were vanishing, and agrarian pioneers encouraged by Governor 
Burrington, were lured to this region of great forests and fertile soil. Here 
also the elevation was pleasing, at 65 feet, whereas down the river where 
Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune now are, it was but 23. Nathaniel Averitt's 
first land grant in these Carolina woods was in 1736. V/ithin the next seven 
years h^ had preempted 1983 acres, all in Onslow County, through five sep- 
arate land grants. Dying on December 4, 1755, he left four sons: John, Arthur, 
Benjamin Nathaniel, Ephaly; and one daughter, Nancy. To New River came 
President George Washington on his Southern tour. After a morning's 
jaunt of twelve miles, on Saturday, April 23, 1791, he "breakfasted at one, 
Everett's." The federal records of 1833, show John A. Avirett (the name 
is spelled variously) as postmaster at Richlands, annual "compensation," 
$29.70; and still officiating there in 1835, at $41.01. 

A Protestant religious service has been maintained in this locality for two 
centuries and a quarter. Agreeable to the times there was, in practice, 
much of it syndicated and staggered but always it locally centered in the 
one community church variously known as St. John's, 1730, onward; New 
River, 1743-1807; Chapel Run, 1808-1842; Richland Chapel, 1843-1850; and 
Union Chapel, 1851-1956. Also at colloquial level, it was named "Everitfs 
Meetinghouse," just once, and in the Minues of 1813. I purpose to make 
clearly authentic, by congruous references to source materials as herewith 
listed, the historical continuity of this evolving local congregation, 1730-1956. 
Such briefing may have basic value in unfolding the story of "Onslow's Oldest 

Three oldest local churches now associated in the Southeastern District, 
North Carolina Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), having their local 
foundational media integrated, are: Union Chapel, Chinquapin Chapel, 
(Trent), Jones County, and Southwest in Lenoir County. In the 1750s these 
were sister Separate Baptist Churches holding some distinctive beliefs vig- 
orously championed by Disciples a century later. The like documented story, 
of Disciple relevance, remains to be written for Chinquapin Chapel and 
Southwest. Both of these began as missions from the earlier Onslow Chu]?ch, 
now called Union Chapel. 

By Charles Crossfield Ware, 
Carolina Discipliana Library, Wilson, N. C. 
December 2, 1956. 

Extant records give a sprinkling of names of heads of families, as "dele- 
gates" from the Onslow congregation in the respective j^^early assemblies 
Such patronimics appearing through the first 147 years, as Barfield, Bryan, 
Cox, Jarman, Mashburn, Pollock, Rhodes, and Wooten, are reminiscent of 
Disciples active throughout the past eighty years in the Onslow area. 

The original chapel site is now a wasteland on the north shore of Chapel 
Run, a small stream, and the spot is near its confluence with New River. 
It is about a hundred yards west of Federal Highway 258, and marked nat- 
urally by a large walnut tree. The present church is a half-mile south. 
Richard Marsden, second itinerant minister here said it was forty miles 
from his home near Wilmington. Another missionary, itinerating, Alexander 
Stewart, said it was eighty miles from his home at Bath, by a way even yet 
devious because of the Pamlico and the Neuse. Also Bishop Francis Asbury 
contemporaneously confirmed this geography. He said it was forty miles from 
Wilmington, sixteen from Trent (Chinquapin Chapel) and forty-two miles 
from New Bern. 

I am not informed in detail about the initial Chapel building. It must 
have been quite ordinary. By colonial custom, some friendly landlord would 
erect a primitive structure, on his plantation for "free" worship, preferably 
it seems to be conducted by the Established Church, but from the 1770's 
these were taken over generally by others. Each of the 41 provincial counties 
in North Carolina are said to have had one or more Chapels by the time of 
the Revolution, when Angelican missionaries were dispersed. The original 
part of the plant now used by Union Chapel was removed to its present site 
by Mr. Everett in the 1870s. 

As of extant records the community's mail has come through post offices 
at Richlands, Catherine Lake, Gum Branch, Tar Landing, and Jacksonville. 

Affiliation of the local church. Union Chapel, is traced as follows: 

1. 1730, onward. Church of England Chapel (St. Johns Parish), in the 
"Rich Lands of New River" served initially by Cape Fear Missionaries, 
(itinerants) located at Wilmington, (St. James) and Brunswick (St. 

2. 1743-1758, General Baptist, local congregation, "gathered" by Paul Palmer. 

3. 1758-1788, Separate Baptist, in Sandy Creek Association. 

4. 1788-1793, United Baptist, in Kehukee Association. 

5. 1794-1805, United Baptist, in Neuse Association. 

6. 1806-1826, Regular Baptist, in Cape Fear Association. 

7. 1827-1843, Primitive Baptist, in Goshen Association, (Parham Puckett 
Anti-Missions Leader). 

8. 1844-1864, Missionary Baptist, in Union Association, (Cooperation of the 
Missionary Baptist Churchmen of the Neuse and Goshen Associations 
under the new name of Union Association). 

9. 1865-1877, Missionary Baptist, in the Eastern Association, (new name for 
the Union Association). 

10. 1877-1956, Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), in The North Carolina 
Christian Missionary Convention. 

The initial church project at New River Chapel, was first named St. John's 
Parish by Governor Gabriel Johnston in 1741. The first Onslow missionary, 
John LaPierre, had arrived in 1728 at the lower Cape Fear settlements, be- 
ginning to officiate at New River about 1730. Before revolutionary disestab- 


lishment three other clergymen served itiiierantly here, namely Richard 
Marsden. James Moir, and John MacDowell, all froin Wilmington and Bruns- 
wick. Their lot was extremely hard. LaPierre said that IMarsden, "a man 
whose whole study always was to undermine me", had tricked him by serving 
the people "Gratis", (as Governor Burrington phrased it). LaPierre lanientod 
that he, himself, had to "work as a Slave in the field for my living, after 
gratifying them with 8 months of my time." As a French Huguenot-Anglican 
he had previously preached a quarter-century in South Carolina, "in abject 
poverty". When he came North to Cape Fear, he had "five small children". 
Holding academic degrees, A.B. and A.M., he had been ordained in England 
in 1708. He rejoiced that it was his privilege at the Cape Fear, as well as 
in Onslow, to "settle the Divine Service where it had never been". 

Second to come to Onslow, Richard Marsden, coveted this post for a full- 
time Parish. Down Wilmington way, as a "trafficant", he was dabbling some- 
times illegally, in merchandise, and in the import trade. Only one other of 
his fellow-clergy was then reported to be in the Province. Marsden repented 
of his "Gratis" service "to an unappreciative people", after reporting 1300 
baptisms for which "he had never received a farthing." 

The third preacher, James Moir, declared that half of his vestry at Wil- 
mington, (St. James) were dissenters. He was paid with rice, for which 
there was no sale, "even at a shilling a hundred weight." Of necessity he 
lived in a garret. The climate frightened him. Traveling to Onslow, the 
wayside accommodations were "most wretched", at charges "most extrava- 
gant." He left in 1747 for the Edgecombe Parish, where incidentally he be- 
came "a great politician." 

Succeeding Moir, after a long vacancy, was John MacDowell, serving 1751- 
1763. He was "a zealous young minister of an evangelical turn." He mar- 
ried a. resourceful slave-owning girl, but by grim necessity, one by one of 
the servants had to be sold for sheer maintenance of the couple's simple life. 
In the midst of such down-treading she died in 1760; he in 1763. Lonely 
Governor Arthur Dobbs died at Brunswick in 1765, the obsequies led by a 
justice of the peace, because no preacher of the Established faith was within 
a hundred miles. 

The English Colonial Church was frustrated, stymied, in America, for 
obvious reasons. Characters of some of the missionaries were a sore re- 
proach, but extenuated now in view of the tensions and temptations of the 
times. The Lord Bishop of London, titular head, remote and preoccupied, 
could be no effective supervisor. Heterogeneous vestries snarled the works. 
Provincial governors too often vacillated and blundered. Recruitment of an 
indigenous ministry, so vital to a securely developing church, seems never 
to have been of practical import, or concern to the responsible leaders. Im- 
plementing the rubric was an exotic pageant to Carolina's populating provin- 
cials amid pineland pocosins. 

After 1743, five Baptist communions, having various prefixes worshipped 
consecutively in the one church at New River, continuing thus for approxi- 
mately 134 years. The General Baptists (English Arminians) coming first 
were so called to distinguish them from Particular Baptists, (English Cal- 
vinists). For a long time in America there was theological war between the 
"General Provision" (free gospel), and the "Special Provision", (free grace), 
sectors of the transplanted Baptist front. The Arminians were first on Tarheel 
ground but were destined to a proselyted union with the Calvinists, effected 


by leaders in Associations flanking them on the north and the south, namely 
the Philadelphia and the Charleston. Paul Palmer, of the church at Chowan, 
(Edenton) "gathered" a congregation of the "General" faith, at New River, 
prior to the coming of the Separate Baptists. He is regarded as the father 
of the North Carolina Free Will Baptists. Sharing also in projecting this 
"Free Will" heritage were: William Parker of Meherrin; Joseph Parker of 
Wheat Swamp; Josiah Hart of Reedy Creek, and John Winfield of Pungo. 
These never aligned with Calvinists, but their history has ever been obscure, 
nor has it been lifted from shadows cast by alien historians. This mischance 
also holds for the next entry, the Separate Baptists. 

Shubal Stearns, (1706-1771), and a new convert, Philip Mulkey, of Sandy 
Creek, N. C, came before 1758, to reorganize the New River church to accord 
with their "New Light" plans, and it was forthwith admitted and listed with 
that Association. Moreover Trent Church, in Jones, and Southwest in Lenoir, 
were likewise enlisted. The Baptist historian, George W. Paschal has de- 
clared: "I make bold to say that these Separate Baptists have proved to be 
the most remarkable body of Christians America has known". This thesis 
he sustains through many carefully written pages. Stearns, a George White- 
field convert, and fiery evangelist, came from New England to settle as a 
full-time self-employed missionary at Sandy Creek in Guilford (now Ran- 
dolph) County. It was his gift to feed the spiritual hunger of increasing 
multitudes by a fervent gospel preaching hitherto unknown on this frontier. 
Their growth was unprecedented. First stationed preachers at New River 
inspired by Stearns and Mulkey were Ezekiel Hunter and Robert Nixon. 
These were fired with missionary zeal to plant neighboring "branches" of 
New River, and also to inspire rew recruits to the pulpit. 

Churches of the Separates observed the Lord's Supper on alternate Sundays, 
"except when they could not get wine." They were not bound by any "creed", 
save the Bible alone. They immersed believers upon their simple confession 
of Christ. A tenet of the Separates was belatedly affirmed by Francis Oliver, 
whose name was associated with New River. As moderator of the Neuse 
Association in 1805, he objected to extra-biblical creeds as follows: 

"They cast contempt upon the Scriptures, and their authors, assum- 
ing the prerogative of Christ, they presuppose that the Scriptures are 
imperfect, and short of being in themselves a sufficient rule for a 
Church; forasmuch as they add traditions that are not to be found 
in the word of God and bind them upon their adherents by v/hich 
they are led to read and consider those writings more than the Scrip- 
tures, thereby lay a greater stress upon them, and so to be like those 
that seem somewhat in the Church and less regard Christ and his 
word. This is contempt indeed." 

A definitive comparison of the eighteenth century Separate Baptists of the 
South Atlantic States with the later Disciples of Christ is long overdue. 

Anglican authorities regarded New River as the Provincial Baptist capital, 
albeit they gave it a less flattering name. Baptists were a persecuted people. 
Some, including James Brinson in Tryon's day, as reported, were publicly 
whipped and jailed when trying to erect their own New Bern church plant. 
The Separates not having due facilities for consolidation and permanence 
merged at length with the stronger Calvinists as "United Baptists". 

While Presbyterian groups were in adjacent counties, none are of record 
at this time as having been in Onslow. First Methodist preacher on Tarheel 
soil, Joseph Pilmoor, is reputed to have reached New River in 1773. The 




I New River. Circuit was set up in 1785, and by 1813 had their own separate 
RichlaM; Ghapel at New RiYer. The episcopal Araiinians were vying with 
the congregational Calvinists in the taking of a Protestant land. In contro- 
versy, Bishop Asbury, Onslow traveler, said: "If plunging baptism is the 
only true ordinance, and there can be no true church without it, it is not 
quite clear: that Christ ever had a church until the Baptists plunged for it." 
Pacing Baptist barriers Asbury further said; "I conclude I shall have no 
more appointments between Wilmington and New Bern — people of Onslow 
seem to resemble the ancient Jews — they please not God and they are con- 
trary to all men — Farewell! unhappy people of Jones, and Trent, and 
Onslow. ■ Charles Woodmason, of the English Carolina Clergy frankly con- 
fessed in 1766, "the Baptists have great prevalence and footing in North 
Carolina and have taken such deep root there that it will require long time 
and pains to grub up their layers." 

Luther Rice before 1827 visited Tarheel Baptists to gather foreign mission- 
ary funds. This was a cleaving sword. The so-called Primitives formed an 
anti-missions half of the area's constituents. Among these was Parham 
Puckett, an Onslow lay preacher, Vv^hose influence for 16 years alienated 
Chapel Run, as New River was then called, from its normal associated activi- 
ties. The blight really extended 24 years for not until 1851, did the local 
church return to a consistent missionary status when it assumed the new 
and final name of Union Chapel. 

Association minutes in 1864 lists Union Chapel with 54 members. Mission 
funds aided support of the pastor since it was "a point of great importance". 
The Confederate States' imports at the Cape Fear were "high stakes", and 
some "hair triggers" were daredevil Baptists of this area, standing in need 
of a stewardship hint. So an adopted resolution recommended "to blockade 
runners to give to the Lord a liberal portion of their stock to be applied in 
disseminating His word to the heathen." Further the minutes lecall that 
except for Union Chapel, Onslow was "one vast scene of destitution." 

About 1875, a neighboring Disciple, Cyrus Browii, underwrote the expenses 
of Virgil A. Wilson, to evangelize at Union Chapel, later to be helped by 
Joseph H. Foy, and John J. Harper. Wherefore some 16 persons were con- 
stituted as a Disciple "mission". On December 2, 1877, J. L. Burns, evangelist, 
organized Union Chapel as a Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), with 
43 charter members. First elders were: Simon B. Taylor, and William Cox; 

first deacons: George Simmons and Padrick. I therefore date this 

brochure on the 79th Anniversary of the event. 

An active and distinguished layman of North Carolina Disciples for more 
than fifty years was Colonel Simon B. Taylor, of Union Chapel. A native 
Tarheel, he was born near Kinston, March 16, 1834, and died at his Catherine 
Lake home, January 27, 1929. In 1861-'65 he commanded the 35th North 
Carolina Regiment, in General Matt. Ransom's brigade, and was said to have 
been the last surviving regimental commander of that War. Four times he 
was wounded, the last time very seriously, in the right arm just before the 
"stillness at Appomattox". He married Sallie A. Murreli, March 8, 1866. 
Their two daughters, Mrs. Rodolph Duffy and Mrs. William T. Cox, yet sur- 
vive their parents. After death of his first wife, Colonel Taylor married Mrs. 
Nannie J. Murreli Hoye. A remarkable nonegenarian, he was in his ninety- 
fifth year when he died. 

At his passing he was one of six surviving charter members of The North 

( 5 ) 

Carolina Christian Missionary Society, founded in Kinston in 1877. as pre- 
liminary to The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention established 
for administrative permanence at the Farmville State Convention in 1883. 
His patriarchal home at the community's famous Lake was long known for 
its unfailing hospitality. In its tranquil abode countless souls found warm 
comradeship and meditated growth. Loyal in the best sense to his family, 
to his community, and to his growing church in a changing world, he left 
a worthy heritage for the new day. 

I can only give an incomplete list of the local ministry for this Onslow 
Church, 1730-1956. For these two and a quarter centuries, accessible records 
leave but a ministerial blank for many specific years. The following is sub- 
mitted from sources both available and credible. The ministers, 1877-1956, 
are of the Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ). 

1730-1734, John LaPierre, Richard Marsden, Church of England. 

1743, Paul Palmer, General Baptist. 

1756, Philip Mulkey, Separate Baptist. 

1758, Ezekiel Hunter, Separate Baptist. 

1790, Robert Nixon, United Baptist. 

1795, Moses Barfield, United Baptist. 

1808, Silas Carter, Regular Baptist. 

1817, Benjamin Johnston, Regular Baptist. 

1827-1843, Parham Puckett, Primitive Baptist. 

1851, Nathan Askew, Missionary Baptist. 

1864, J. P. Faison, Missionary Baptist. 

1865, J. E. King, Missionary Baptist. 

1866, J. N. Stallings, Missionary Baptist. 
1870, G. S. Best, Missionary Baptist. 
1875, 1876, E. A. Best, Missionary Baptist. 
1877, J. L. Burns. 

1882-1883, Henry C. Bowen. 
1884, A. O. Warren. 
1888, 1889, J. R. Tingle. 

1890-1908, S. W. Sumrell, C. W. Howard, John W. Tyndall, I. W. Rogers, 

John T. Saunders. 
1909, Hayes Farish. 
1910-1912, C. B. Mashburn. 
1913, 1914, John T. Saunders 
1915-1917, S. Lee Sadler 
1918, G. Henry Sullivan 
1919-1922, John T. Saunders 
1923-1925, W. T. Mattox 
1926, 1927, Paul T. Ricks 

1928, F, W. Wiegmann 

1929, 1930, John J. Langston 
1931-1939, W. J. B. Burrus 
1940, 1941. R. Curtis Brisson 
1942, Preston D. Parsons 
1943-1945, A. C. Young 

1946, G. A. Hamlin 

1947, Jack R. Daniell 
1948-1956, W. J. B. Burrus 



Tracing four generations: 

1. PHILLIP MULKEY, 173 2-1801, father of 

2. JONATHAN MULKEY^ 1752-18 26, father of 

3. JOHN MULKEY, 1773-1845, father of 

4. JOHN NEWTON MULKEY, 180 6-18 8 2. 

1. PHILLIP MULKEY% was born in Halifax County, N. C, May 14, 1732, 
and died in eastern Tennessee about 1801. He was converted in Halifax 
County, N. C, by John Newton, and was baptized, Dec. 25, 1756, by Shubal 
Stearns at the Sandy Creek Separate Baptist Church, near the present Lib- 
erty, N. C. He was ordained to the ministry there in 1757. He married Ann 
Ellis; children: David, Jonathan, Sarah, Philip, and Parry, (or Patty). He 
evangelized for Separate Baptists in Eastern North Carolina, 1757 to 1760. 
specially assisting at New River Church, in Onslow County (now Union 
Chapel), which was enrolled by Sandy Creek Association, parent Convention 
of Separate Baptists, in 1758. From New River the cause spread to South- 
west Church in Lenoir County, four miles southeast of Kinston, this church 
being established in 1762. Mulkey baptized John Dillahunty (Dillahunt), 
in Jones County, who in 1761 became a leader at Trent church, and ministered 
there, 1781 to 1796, before removal to Tennessee. This Trent Church is today 
identified as Chinquapin Chapel Christian Church, worshipping near the site 
of the old Trent Church, in Jones County. 

Philip Mulkey removed to South Carolina in 1760, taking with him almost 
wholly the personnel of the Deep River, N. C. Separate Baptist Church of the 
Sandy Creek connection. He planted Fairforest, earliest Baptist Church in 
upper South Carolina; the site being in the present Union County, where 
Fairforest Creek flows into Tyger River, about midway between the present 
cities of Clinton and Union. In 1775, he and most of this community became 
Tories. This domestic tragedy was due to their natural revolt against the 
tyrrany of American officials in leagued association at Charleston, S. C. 
This they felt from bitter experience to be more cruel and unjust than that 
of the remote King George III, himself. Hence contemporary Whig Baptist 
writers wrote with unresolved contempt concerning the life and character of 
Philip Mulkey, and some later historians to a degree likewise. Mulkey and 
other Tories, at the mounting crisis fled to Natchez, Mississippi, then a British- 
protected Tory citadel. Similar vicissitudes made Tories of about one-third 
of the American colonials. No definitive report, fair and impartial, on 
Philip Mulkey, after 1776, is extant. 

2. JOxVATHAN MULKEY, son of Philip Mulkey, was born in Virginia. 
Oct. 16, 1752, and died near Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church, Washington County, 
Tenn., Sept. 5, 1826, and is buried in the Cemetery there. He was the first 
preacher to appear on Tennessee soil. It was in Carter's Valley, near the 
present Rogersville, in the fall of 1775. Having survived battles with savages, 
he founded Kendrick's Creek Baptist Church in the Holston Association, 


and represented it. at their annual meeting in ITSfi. For seven years he was 
Holston's moderator. First settlement made in Tennessee was in 1768, near 
the present Elizabethton, Carter County. It included ten families Irom Wake 
County, N. C. Governmental chaos on the eve of the American Revolution 
accelerated trans-mountain migration from southern seaboard areas. Two 
Tennessee Baptist churches are said to have been started prior to 1770 but 
disappeared in the wars of the period. 

A son of Jonathan Mulkey was Isaac Mulkey, who became affiliated with 
Barton W. Stone's Christians. In 1883, according to his own report he re- 
organized Post Oak Springs Christian Church, in Roane County, Tennessee, 
two miles east of the present city of Rockwood, on Federal Highway 70. This 
church dating from about 1812 is said to bo the oldest church of that faith 
now functioning in Tennessee, the founder, Ephriam D. Moore, (1782-1859) 
being an early associate of Barton W. Stone. 

JOHN MULKEY', son of Jonathan Mulkey. was l)orn in South Caro- 
lina, Jan. 14, 1773; removed to Monroe County, Kentucky, 1798, and died there 
at Mulkey's Meeting House, in 1845. This community is two miles southeast 
of Tompkinsville, Ky., on the present Park Road. After leaving South Caro- 
lina, he had evangelized in Holston Valley, Tenn. He founded Mill Creek 
Baptist Church, Ky., (first name of Mulkey's M. H,), in 1798, and eleven 
years later affiliated with Barton W. Stone. He made Mill Creek a "Bible 
Only" Church, and the log house, 157 years old, first such structure in south- 
ern Kentucky, is enshrined to-day as Mulkey's Meetinghouse. It is the only 
State Park in Kentucky to perpetuate the name and to commemorate the 
history of a church. The congregation long ago passed but with redolence 
there yet appears the original twelve-cornered building, the cemetery, and 
the surrounding grove. Its antiquity has significance for Disciples. Pre- 
served is their old church record book with entries penned with pokeberry 
ink. Sustained by a diverse but effectual community sentiment it has been 
taken over institutionally by the State but incidentally it is a landmark in 
the genesis of southern Kentucky Christians. However in literature and in 
life there is ail but total neglect for it by the whole of the present day heirs 
of the Stone and Campbell movements. 

4. JOHN NEWTOX MULKEV, son of John .'..ulkey. was born ^'eh. l^. 
1806, at Mulkey's M. H., and died at Glasgow. Ky.. Sept. 2G, 1882. His tomb 
is in the cemetery alongside Mulkey's M. H. On October 6, 1824, he married 
Nancy Laugh: After an initial ministry in eastern Tennessee, and at Liberty 
church in Clay County of that State, he gave fifty years to Kentucky evan- 
gelization in the Christian Church. Much of this time was given as a mis- 
sionary of the Kentucky Christian Missionary Society. It is of record that 
he preached "nearly ten thousand sermons and immersed about as many be- 
lievers." For awhile he lived in Perry County, 111., where his first wife died 
in 1880. He then returned to southern Ky. and married Nancy Evans. He 
and his father for three quarters of a century were notable leaders of the 
"plain Christians" in pivotal areas. 

( 8 ) 


Allen, I. M., Baptist Annual Register, 1832, 1836. 
Asbury, Francis, Journal, Vols., 2, 3, N. Y., 1852. 
Asplund, John, Annual Register 1790. 

Baptist Association Minutes, tracing New River (Onslow) Church record 
through various Associations; Neuse, (1794), to Eastern, (1877), in the N. C. 
Baptist Collection. Wake Forest College, Winston-Salem, N. C. 

Benedict, David, General History, Baptist Denomination, Vols. 1, 2, Boston. 

Biggs, Elder Joseph, A Concise History of Keliukee Association, Tarborough, 
N. C, 1834. 

Brown, J. Parsons, Onslow County, N. C, Historian, MS. letters and notes. 

Burkitt, Elders Lemuel, and Read, Jesse, A Concise History of Keliukee 
Baptist Association, Halifax, N. C, 1803. 

Burnett, J. J., Sketches of Tennessee Pioneer Baptist Preachers, Nashville, 
Tenn., 1919. 

Campbell, Alexander, TdiUenial Harlnnger ("Periodical), 1832, pages 100-102, 
1860, page 118. 

Carraway, Gertrude S., History Christ Church [Episcopal], Neio Bern, N. C. 

Crosby, Thomas, The History of The English Baptists, London, Eng., 1738. 
Grimes, J. Bryan, Abstract of North Carolina Wills, Raleigh, N. C, 1910. 

North Carolina Wills and Inventories, Raleigh, N. C, 1912. 

Hassell, Elders Gushing Biggs, and Sylvester, History Church of God, Mid- 
dleton, N. Y., 1886. 

Hirsch, Arthur Henry, The Huguenots of Colonial South Carolina, Durham. 
N. C, 1928. 

Hoskins, Joseph A., President Washingfofi's Diaries, Summerfield, N. C, 

Kentucky — A Guide to the Bluegrass State, Federal Writers, N. Y., 1939. 
Merritt, Frank, Early History Carter County, Tennessee, 1760-1861, Knox- 
ville, Tenn., 1950. 

Mulkey, Floyd, Rev. Phillip Mulkey, Pioneer Baptist Preacher in Upper 
South Carolina, S. C. Historical Association, Columbia, 1945, Proceedings, 
pages 3-13. 

N. C. Baptist Historical Papers, J. D. Hufham. Henderson, N. C, October, 

N. C. Colonial Records, W. L. Saunders, Vols. 1-10. 

N. C. Disciples of Christ Minutes Annual Conventions, 1834; 1841-1956. 
N. C. State Records, Walter Clark, Vols. 11-25. 

Paschall, George W., History North Carolina Baptists, Vol. 1, 1663-180'), 
Raleigh, N. C, 1930. 

Purefoy, George W., A Histot^y of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association, 
N. Y., 1859. 

Ramsey, J. G. M., Annals of Tennessee, edition, Kingsport, Tenn., 1926. 
Register, Officers, Agents, U. S., Civil, Military and Naval, Washington, D. 
C, 1833, 1835. 

(9 ) 

Robinson, B. P., TJie N. C. Guide, Chapel Hill, 1955. 

Rogers, W. C, Recollections of Men of Faith, St. Louis, Mo., 1889. 

Semple, Robert B., A History of the Rise and Progress of Baptists in Vir- 
ginia, Richmond, Va., 1810. 

Spencer, J. H., History of Kentucky Baptists, Vols. 1, 2, Cincinnati, O., 1885. 

Townsend Leah, South Carolina Baptists, 1670- f80o, Florence, S. C, 1935. 

Wagner, Harry C, The Beginnings of the Christian Church in East Tennes- 
see, in East Tennessee Historical Publications, Number 20, 1948. 

Walsh, John T., M^atch Tower, (periodical), Kinston, N. C, March, 1878. 

Ware Charles C, A History, NortJi Carolina Disciples of Christ, St. Louis, 
Mo., 1927. 

Woodmason, Charles, The Carolina Back Country on the Eve of the Revo- 
lution, edited by Richard J. Hooker, Chapel Hill, 1953. 


The Southeastern District, North Carolina Christian Churches, (Disciples 
of Christ), is composed of the following 13 churches presently cooperating in 
the Counties of Jones, Lenoir, (south of Neuse River), New Hanover, and 
Onslow. This subdivision was first known as District No. 3, 1872, ("Churches 
south of Neuse River"); then from 1885-1923, as Jones-Onslow; and since 
1924 as Southeastern District. Below is given respectively the dates of or- 
ganization, insofar as known, and of enrollment in The North Carolina 
Christian Missionary Convention, with membership as then recorded. Some 
antecedent affiliations of local churches are indicated. 

Armenia, September 3, 1887; enrolled, 1889; 61 members. 

Chinquapin Chapel, originally Trent, (Separate Baptist, 1757), charter 
member. Bethel Conference and Union Meeting of Disciples of Christ, May 
2, 1845; 46 members. 

Comfort, enrolled, 1915, 30 members. 

Haskins Chapel, originally Shady Grove; enrolled, 1859; 48 members. 

Jacksonville, February 24, 1952, enrolled, 1952, 41 members. 

Pleasant Hill, 1837; charter member of Bethel Conference and Union Meet- 
ing of Disciples of Christ, May 2, 1845; 81 members. 

Richlands, February 28, 1882; enrolled, 1884; 48 members. 

Southwest, originally Separate Baptist, 1762, onward; later Regular and 
Free Will Baptist; enrolled, by Disciples, 1871; 15 members. 

Southwood Memorial, December 12, 1945; enrolled 1949; 47 members. 

Trenton, enrolled 1899; 42 members. 

Tuckahoe, enrolled 1849; 28 members. 

Union Chapel, originally Anglican-Baptist, 1730-1877; December 2, 1877, 
(Disciples); enrolled, 1878; 57 mem.bers. 
Wilmington, April 14, 1907; enrolled, 1907; 72 members. 



1864— J. M. Wooten 
1866, 1870— M. D. Thomas 
1874, 1875— John Mashbuni 
1878— L. E. Duffy 
1885-1888— E. W. Murrell 

1889— G. H. Simmons 

1890- 1893— J. B. Taylor 
1894-1899— J. W. Bryan 
1900-1902— W. P. Thomas 
1903-1905— H. D. Murrell 
1906-1908— George Bryan 
1909-1914— W. P. Thomas 
1915-1921— Col. S. B. Taylor 
1922, 1923— L. D. Boggs 
1924-1930— W. T. Cox 
1931-1936— Mrs. W. T. Cox 
1937-1939— J. C. Collins 

1940-1 9 43~Mrs. K. G. Richardson 
1944-1953— Mrs. Rodolph Duffy 
1954-1956— Hilton Joiner 


In 1890, superintended by G. H. Simmons, whose address is given as Cath- 
erine Lake, N. C. Number of "pupils" enrolled, 25, with 4 teachers. A few 
years prior to 1890, Marshal Taylor superintended a Sunday School at nearby 
Gum Branch, largely made up of Union Chapel personnel. 

Author's Note: Copies of this pamphlet can be procured from C. C. Ware, 
Curator, Carolina Discipliana Library, Box 1164, Wilson, N. C. at 50 cents 
each, or 3 copies for $1.00. 


Olaroltna iianpltatta ICtbrar^ 













published by 

The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, 
Box 1 1 64, Wilson, N. C. 


1927 — A History of Disciples of Christ in North 

1932 — Barton Warren Stone, Pathfinder of Chris- 
tian Union. 

1942— Tar Fleel Disciples, 1841-1852. 






published by 

The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, 
Box 1164, Wilson, N. C. 



This Centennial play is written for the one-hundredth 
annual session of The North Carolina Christian Missionary- 
Convention, meeting in the Wilson, North Carolina, Chris- 
tian Church, November 8-10, 1944. 

Dramatic license is obvious in the flov^ of monolog and 
dialog in the script, but the whole is historically consistent. 
It is true, that an eastern North Carolina woman turned 
Barton Stone to his western career; that the stars fell on 
Edenton while Thomas Campbell was there, and that he 
used a snuff-box for a long period, quitting it about the 
time indicated ; and that Jacob Utley was a leading opponent 
of the Disciples. These and other incidents of the play may 
be well-documented from authentic sources. 

There originated on the central coastal plains of North 
Carolina one of the oldest Disciple cultures in America. 
For those having eyes to see, residual features of that cul- 
ture continue, notwithstanding the century's radical devel- 
opment. Herewith is a dramatic version of Carolina 
Disciples as they began to flower. 

Charles Crossfield Ware, 
Wilson, North Carolina, 
May 24, 1944. 






Place : A Country Churchyard in Eastern North Carolina. 

Date : May 1, 1796. 

Characters : The Voice 

Barton Stone 
Robert Foster 
Sarah Dillahunt 

[''The Voice," is that of the Director, who recites the 
connected narrative throughout the play, for periods 
other than those of stage presentation by the actors.} 

The Voice: George Washington is beginning his second 
administration as President of the new Republic. Can- 
dles burn low on a winter evening, cold and damp. 
Oaken ember smolders to ash on the cabin floor of 
David Caldwell, Teacher, and Patriot, of the Carolina 
wilderness. A few miles through the forest stands 
Guilford Courthouse, symbol of liberty's tide in the 
Revolution, and New Garden Meeting House, venture 
of the spiritual 'mind for peace and freedom. The good 
wife, Rachel, busy at the loom all day, has admonished 
David of the lateness of the hour and of his proneness 
to study overmuch. It is time for repose. Some lights 
yet flicker in the nearby student quarters, as youth 
toils to make the grade under the master, who as 
"Grandfather" of America's oldest State University is 
a classic example of the instructor on one end of a log 
with his student on the other. 

There comes a gentle knock at the door. 
"Why, Barton, come in ! What can I do for you here 
at this bedtime hour," says the Teacher. 



''Well, Doctor Caldwell, I have put off telling you as 
long as I can, but I am sure now that I will have to 
leave the school before I complete the course." 

''Hear ! Hear ! Barton Stone, what is all this about. 
What is your trouble?" 

"Doctor, you must know that I am far behind in pay- 
ing you for my education. I see no means of getting 
funds to settle. To be honest, I will have to go and 
maybe return to you at some chance." 

"There now, that will never do. Barton. Lots of 
things, not so good, can happen to a boy when he gets 
out of school, especially when his training has not been 
thorough. Now I tell you, you just stay right here and 
finish, and I will trust you to pay me when you get out. 
There is every reason why you should do this. I expect 
fully your affirmative decision." 

"Doctor, if you feel that way about it, I suppose that 
I should stay. If you trust me, surely I ought to trust 
myself. You will help me to get a school. I promise 
that out of my first money as a teacher I will pay you 
every shilling." 

Rachel leaves her loom, taking a seat with her hus- 
band and the student at the fireside. 

She speaks: "Barton, did I hear you say that you 
are to teach, because you must have money? Now 
what is to become of that precious promise you made 
to me when you found your Redeemer in the great 
revival at Alamance? You said with joy then that you 
would preach the everlasting Gospel as surely as God 
gave you breath." 

"Mrs. Caldwell, I appreciate your faith in me, but 
all I can say is I must follow the leadings of Provi- 

"Yes, Providence ! That is right. Barton. When the 
revival first came here, you said it made you sick, and 
you were going to sneak back to Virginia, but Provi- 
dence used a very stormy day to keep you here. Then 
you got all twisted up in your emotions in the revival 
and you seemed so distraught, until William Hodge 


preached that sermon on ''God is Love" ; then you came 
through gloriously, praised be His Holy Name! Yes, 
Providence is going right on with you to the end of 
your days. Barton. You must preach because you have 
seen the light. In all conscience you have got to preach. 
And, Barton, I know what I say about Providence, for 
He has been with me always. In the awful King 
George War when Cornwallis had a big price on Doctor 
Caldwell's head, the Doctor had to hide in the thickest 
brush. Then one evening enemy spies came here tell- 
ing me they were from our own General Greene's camp, 
and they said they just had to know the Doctor's where- 
abouts. I was deceived and told them what they want- 
ed to know, but I could then see in their eyes that I had 
acted a mistake. Then I prayed all night with all my 
soul, that they might not take -the Doctor. Then it 
was that Providence, working in the mind of my hus- 
band, warned him, so he rode away to safety just in 
time. I know Providence! He is my dear unfailing 

Under such influence the student struggles on. Fin- 
ishing Dr. Caldwell's course, he is set on his minis- 
terial way by John Springer, devoted young preacher. 
Returning to Hawfields, North Carolina, in April 1796, 
for his license. Stone has the joyful guidance of "Father 
Pattillo," who kept the predestinarian creed from be- 
coming a stumbling block by his tactful questions. 
Stone receives his license. Then comes his assignment 
to a traveling mission of the Orange Presbytery. He is 
paired with Robert Foster, his schoolmate and fellow- 
minister. Their field is eastern North Carolina. 

We now look in on them as these two young men 
come to a great decision. 

[The curtian rises. Barton Stone, standing, has 
saddle bags across his left shoulder, tvhile Robert Fos- 
ter walks into the Churchyard. Sarah Dillahunt sits 
within earshot but unseen behind the ''horse-block." 
Stage has candles, and pedestal resembling "horse- 



Barton Stone: Why Robert Foster, what are you doing 
here? When you left me last Friday you said you 
would go your way to Florida, and I could go mine. 

Robert Foster: Well, so it is. We are both on our way, 
Barton. You know I am terribly disappointed with the 
people here in this country. They don't seem to have 
any religion. And the worst of it is, I don't seem to 
have any, myself. You know, I just don't believe I am 
fit to preach. 

Barton Stone: Robert, you are better than I, and if that 
is a true confession from you, then I am certain I am 
not fit to preach. W'y the people just seem to be deaf 
when I preach to them. Of course, they treat us both 
very well, with plenty to eat, and all comforts of good 
living, with plenty of time to fish and hunt, with all 
these negroes to work. But, when we get down to 
talking God to them, they seem to say by their attitude, 
'That's just fine, young fellows, you do the preaching 
of those pretty ideas, and we'll all have a good and easy, 
time of it." Pshaw! I am all done and through. 

Robert Foster : That goes for me, too. I want to get down 
to Florida among those Indians and Spaniards, clear 
out of these United Colonies. They can't be any worse 
than what we have here. I will surely be a free man 

Barton Stone: But hold, Robert! Do you think that is 
the Christian thing for us to do? 

Robert Foster: Well, Barton, what is a Christian? Td 
like to know. I see none in these parts. 

Barton Stone: "That's right, you have asked a fair ques- 
tion. We ought to put our heads on it, and get the 
answer, and it ought to be so plain when we put it 
down, that one can read it while he runs. 

[Barton Stone hesitates, opens a saddle bag and con- 
tinues. '\ 

Robert, good for us ! I think that I have it right here. 
You remember that President Samuel Davies of New 
Jersey College said it a good generation ago in a ser- 
mon on "The Sacred Import of The Christian Name." 



And here it is. [Thumbs the pages of Vol. I of ''Ser- 
mons" by Davies.] Do you want me to read it? 
Robert Foster: Let's have it. 

[Barton Stone reads the following excerpts from Vol. 
I, "Sermons/' by Davies, pages SOJ^-SIS, edition, Lon- 
don, 1792.] 

"Acts 11:26 — The Disciples were called Christians 
first at Antioch.' 

"The original word which is here rendered 'called' 
seems to intimate that they were called Christians by 
divine appointment, for it generally signifies an oracu- 
lar nomination or a declaration from God; and to this 
purpose it is generally translated. Hence it follows 
that the very name Christian, as well as the thing was 
of a divine original, assumed not by a private agree- 
ment of the disciples among themselves but by the 
appointment of God .... 

"A Christian ! a Christian ! let that be your highest 
distinction; let that be the name which you labor to 
deserve. God forbid that my ministry should be the 
occasion of diverting your attention to anything else. 
... I will tell you [with Mr. Baxter] '1 am a Chris- 
tian; of no other religion; my Church is the Christian 
Church! The Bible! the Bible! is my religion; and 
if I am a dissenter, I dissent only from modes and 
forms of religion which I cannot find in my Bible ; and 
which therefore I conclude have nothing to do with 
religion, much less shall they be made terms of Chris- 
tian communion, since Christ, the only lawgiver of His 
Church has not made them such. . . . 

"To be a Christian is to be like to Christ, from whom 
the name is taken: it is to be a follower and imitator 
of Him ; to be possessed of His spirit and temper ; and 
to live as He lived in the world ; it is to have those just, 
exalted, and divine notions of God and divine things, 
and that just and full view of our duty to God and man, 
which Christ taught; in short it is to have our senti- 
ments, our temper, and practice, formed upon the sa- 
cred model of the gospel." [Returns book to saddle 



Barton Stone: Robert Foster, that is plain Bible truth. 
If I ever get to be a real preacher that's what I will 
preach. You know that ''Father" Pattillo, who gave 
us our license last month said the same thing. You 
remember that he was a student of President Davies. 
They saw eye to eye. This truth also ought to settle 
forever that old predestination muddle, about who is 
elect and who is not elect. Responsible persons who 
choose to be Christians are the elect, and those respon- 
sible who choose otherwise, are just not elected. I be- 
lieve it is as simple as that. These ideas are getting 
hold of me like gunpowder does a bullet. But, ipso 
facto, we are flashes in the pan ! We are running away ! 

Robert, I had a dream the other night about which 
I ought to tell you. In my vision I was preaching by 
the riverside. The shore was covered with people as 
far as my eye could see. There were preachers from 
several denominations too. My appeal fell like the 
sword of the Spirit on that multitude. There was 
great visible agony under the swift and steady strokes. 
Such strange things happen in dreams. My pulpit on 
the river bank gave way and I was plunged into water. 
I toiled out. I felt so grandly that I went right on 
preaching. But then most of that great audience faded 
away. Then my preachers all went away, too, except 
one dear soul. Glorious climax — those who staid, said 
they were Christians only. Then my joy was too great 
for me to tell you, as my soul was lifted to the seventh 
heaven in my dream. 

Robert Foster: [With emphasis] Yes, this whole thing is 
a dream. And a nightmare too. Let's get out of here. 

[They move forward as if going on their journey, 
when Sarah Dillahunt arises from her seat behind the 
horse-block, confronting them] 

Sarah Dillahunt: Listen, you runaway parsons. May I 
have a word with you? I heard you, as I sat over 
there. I claim to be one of these Christians amidst the 
big drove of sinners you have talked so rudely about. 
I heard you young blades preach down by the Pamlico. 
[She hesitates, while the two men edge away.] 



Robert Foster: We don't mean to be unkind, good woman, 
but what you have to say, you had better say it right 
now, for we are getting mounted. 

Sarah Dillahunt: Well, what I have to say, is no dream. 
It is sober fact. This is an old settled country Some- 
times I think we have too many preachers here; who 
preach all winds of doctrine, which blow our people 
about every way. And that Florida you talk about is 
not even under our Betsy Ross flag. I wouldn't go 
there. But young men, there is the call of our great 
west, a grand nation coming up beyond the blue ranges. 
Many of our neighbors have gone there. They say that 
in every material prospect it is a heavenly country, but 
gospel preaching is scarce there; ungodliness is terri- 
ble ; and uncounted souls are dying there without Jesus. 
There you would have plenty of room to make Chris- 
tians only, and you might even get all Christians to 
come together and be one people just as our Master 

[The young men, embarrassed, hesitate.] 

Sarah Dillahunt: Make up your mind, boys! What are 
you going to be? A couple of horseback Jonahs, fleeing 
you know not where. Or two of our Lord's over-moun- 
tain missionaries, fighting it out for God on the western 

Barton Stone: [Slotvly, emotionally] Mother, so help us, 
you have put us on the right trail. So I feel. What do 
you say, Robert? 

Robert Foster: I go with you! 

Sarah Dillahunt : Heaven's blessings attend you. And don't 
you come back here until you see it through for God 
over there. 

[Curtain falls.] 



Place : Parlor in General William Clark's Residence, 209 
Cotanche Street, Greenville, North Carolina. 

Date: February 14, 1834. 

Characters : The Voice 

Thomas Campbell 
Louisa Clark 
Priscilla Clark 

The Voice: Thomas Meredith's flock, by the bright yellow 
waters of the Albemarle, is disturbed. Three men are 
peeved and are silently opposed to their pastor; and 
will not support him so as to maintain his confidence. 
He resents it deeply. He resigns, and leaves the door 
wide open for an aggressive traveller from Kentucky, 
with his recently evolved conviction that baptism is for 
the remission of sins. The Kentuckian is Dr. Hall, who 
is a dentist for his bread and butter, and a preacher of 
his new faith for the passionate indulgence of his soul. 
Meredith's people have heard Hall gladly through his 
brief stay in the summer of 1833. Now he has come 
back to Edenton when the leaves are turning saffron 
and scarlet, and the frosts lie heavy in the pocosins. 
He has brought with him a saintly soul — "The Morning 
Star of the Reformation." It is no other than Thomas 

Near the dawn of Wednesday, November 13th the 
travellers are at the home of their host, Thomas Waff. 
They are making ready for the mount of Dr. Hall as 
he is to ride to Norfolk to rejoin Alexander Campbell 
in their tour of eastern American cities. Suddenly 
there is a moaning and shouting in the street. Attract- 
ed to their window the guests are thrilled with the 
unearthly coruscating light which flooded the earth. It 


is the most brilliant meteoric shower of that American 

Hark! the moaning of a slave: '*01e Massa, Massa, 
de Judgment Day am shorely here! Blessed Jesus I 
knowed that you was a coming. Oh Lordy, Lord, save 
me! save me now! 

Dr. Hall speaks: 'Tather Campbell, what do you 
make of all this?" 

''Why, Brother Hall, it is just a heavenly phenome- 
non, which rarely comes, but when it does come, it adds 
a thrilling chapter in declaring the glory of God and 
the showing forth of His handiwork. I think that for 
us it also has a special meaning. The meteors of the 
ecclesiastical heavens are certainly shaking. They 
cannot long retain their places, and hold the admiring 
gaze of the deluded multitude. They must fall, and all 
their glory with them must soon die away. None but 
the real, the fixed stars, which cannot be shaken, will 

Our story unfolds. Months of loneliness, illness, and 
frustration come to "Father" Campbell in his experi- 
ence on the Albemarle. He calls it his Patmos. He is 
guileless. He fondly hopes that his message wrought 
in the integrity of truth and abounding in love, will 
necessarily win the day. He is an idealist, not a cru- 
sader. He is disillusioned. He is naive in his confes- 
sion of failure. Soon he must go to a more responsive 

At the postoffice in Edenton one morning he receives 
the January copy of his beloved Millennial Harbinger. 
There on page 44 is the printed letter from General 
William Clark of Greenville, reminding him that there 
were other friends in Carolina whom he should hasten 
to see. Soon he rode the trail to Tarboro. There he 
saw the printer, engaging him to publish in a pamphlet 
the justification of his Edenton adventure. It is done 
over the names of this three best friends in Edenton, 
Waff, Manning and Skinner. He rides to the town of 
Greenville. We now look in on the history he is mak- 
ing there. 



[Curtain rises. Stage arranged to represent a parlor 
of that period in an aristocratic southern home. Louisa 
Clark, wife of General William Clark is sitting alone 
on the divan, while Priscilla, her daughter, enters im- 
mediately with a leather-bound Bible.] 

Priscilla Clark: [As she enters.] Here it is, Mother, — 
that Campbelhte Bible you asked for. 

Louisa Clark: I told you not to say that, Priscilla. It is 
''The Living Oracles." Did you see that Elder Camp- 
bell's room is arranged properly? Did Liza put every- 
thing in neatness and order, and did Stephen bring up 
fuel and shine the visitor's boots? 

Priscilla Clark: [Seated by her mother] You know what 
I saw there in the Elder's room. Now don't get angry 
with me. I wasn't snooping. It was laid right on the 
sideboard. A snuff box! Mother, do you think an 
Elder ought to use snuff? 

Louisa Clark : That's impudence ! To say that in a country 
which is so fond of its tobacco! Moreover he may be 
a very moderate user of it. We cannot be critical of 
these little personal habits of our guest. 

Priscilla Clark: Mother that was an awful long prayer of 
the Elder at supper. Do you think Elders ought to pray 
so long? 

Louisa Clark: Priscilla! There you have gone and added 
irreverence to your impudence. Another slip, like that, 
young lady, and you'll lose your deportment prize. 

Priscilla Clark : Mother, I can't help these thoughts, and 
I simply must tell them to somebody. Why are you so 
attracted in your mind to this stranger? 

Louisa Clark: He is not really a stranger. The writings 
of him and his son have been coming to this house for 
years. We have some of them bound. Look at that 
shelf. This very Bible I have in my hand is precious. 
It is my favorite, and my joy to read. This is my 
evening of conference with Elder Campbell. Go tell 
him that I wish to see him here. 

[Priscella ushers Campbell into the parlor and re- 
tires. Campbell is seated on the divan besides Mrs. 



Louisa Clark: Welcome to our hearth and home, Elder 
Campbell. The temporary absence of General Clark, 
I regret. He went to preach with Elder Jeremiah Leg- 
gett at the Third Sunday appointment at Tranters 
Creek, and to look after our plantation near there. He 
will return in about a week. 

Thomas Campbell: Madame, seeing that Bible in your 
hands, makes me think you are a Christian. 

Louisa Clark: I wish that I could say as much. No, I 
haven't had my call. It may come though any time. I 
have waited long. 

Thomas Campbell: Will you be so kind, dear woman, as 
to tell me what you mean by "call." 

Louisa Clark: I see you must not know our section so 
well or you would not ask me such a question. You 
know, Elder, about all these conversions under the New 
Covenant. There is Cornelius, and he had a vision. 
There is Saul of Tarsus blinded by the blazing light. 
Even on the Day of Pentecost, the three thousand saw 
fire like cloven tongues. Now I can't think that I can 
become one of the precious few who are saved, unless 
God ''calls" me by an experience like that. And it 
hasn't come to me yet! 

Thomas Campbell: Madame, your trouble should be easily 
resolved, if you will just read your Bible well enough. 
Now there is a great variety of conversions, because 
there is a great variety of persons and situations. Have 
you studied the case of the Ethiopian treasurer. You 
know he was a good man, and all he needed was a clear 
interpretation of pertinent scripture. He got it and 
he became a Christian in obeying it. God's call may 
come in ways beyond number, but obedience to it is 
always just one thing — the acceptance of Christ as your 
personal Savior, and letting His will be supreme in 
your life. 

Louisa Clark: You give me a flood of light on my way. 
There also is the case of Lydia. Elder Campbell, do 
you think I could be a Lydia? 


Thomas Campbell: I can best repeat what The Living 
Oracles say: ''Whosoever will, may come." 

Louisa Clark: Very well, but I must know more about 
your special appeal to the religious world. 

Thomas Campbell: The earliest putting forth of that was 
in my ''Declaration and Address." It was done a quar- 
ter-century ago. 

Louisa Clark: Yes, I have heard of that, and the General 
read it once, and agreed with its sentiments, and when 
he told me, I said that I agreed also. As well as I 
recollect, it was that there could be only one Church of 
Christ, and that founded only on the Bible, and not 
on what some man says about the Bible. 

Thomas Campbell: Yes, that is a fair brief, as far as it 

Louisa Clark: Elder, I am sick and tired of divisions in 
the house of God. If we could all get to-gether as 
Christians only, wouldn't that be a grand day for this 
old world. 

Thomas Campbell: Sister, you are not far from the King- 
dom of God. 

Louisa Clark: I fear that you flatter me, for the General 
and I suffer yet from one unsolved puzzle. How can 
faith at the same time be the gift of God, and also the 
duty of man? 

Thomas Campbell: Well, the evidence on which faith rests 
is the gift of God, isn't it? You believe that He sent 
His Son. That is supreme evidence. But God forces 
nobody to believe that evidence. There is where the 
duty of man comes in, and that duty must always be 
voluntarily assumed. 

Louisa Clark : I praise God for the light that comes to me. 
Elder, I accept my humble place in the Kingdom. 

[Curtain fallsJ] 





Place : Same. 

Date: February 21, 1834. 

Characters : The Voice 

Thomas Campbell 
General Clark 
John P. Dunn 
Abraham Congleton 
Louisa Clark 
Theresa Dunn 
Winifred Rountree 
Clary Dixon 
Patricia McCotter 
Priscilla Clark 
Nancy McLawhorn 
Elizabeth Lanier 

Slaves : Stephen, his wife, Liza ; and picka- 
anninies. Patsy and Penny. 

The Voice: Elder Campbell is cheered by this cordial 
welcome of a resourceful host. He walks with dignity 
the streets of Greenville, and the sunshine is the bright- 
est he has seen in the old South. The boats that come 
and go on the Tar River, bear him glimpses of an im- 
proving world. He thanks God and takes courage. 

Louisa Clark, superb hostess on the auspicious occa- 
sion, sends a messenger at once to General Clark that 
he may return to Greenville promptly. By post she 
sends word to the preachers associated with him in 
their independent reform movement. She offers to 
them full hospitalities of their mansion during the stay 
of their distinguished guest. She especially invites 
some young ladies. The younger generation she knows 
must have this inspiring impact. Leaders from the 
congregations at Rountrees, Little Sister, Tranters 
Creek, and Old Ford, and the General's own flock at 
Grindell Creek, must surely see and talk with this great 
man of Bethany. 



A fireside scene at Little Sister, where Abraham 
Congleton and Samantha, his wife, receive their mes- 
sage about the visitor, is typical of some current oppo- 

Says Abraham : "I'm shore glad that Elder Camp- 
bell has come to our parts. His writin's I like right 
much. Samantha, I'm gwine to see him." 

''Abraham, you simple old soul — you had better 
watch out. This Scotch Yankee has come down here 
to make Campbellite Baptists out of us. He's taking 
our Holy Ghost religion away for his gospel-in-the- 
water. Abraham, I tell you, he is the Anti-Christ. He 
rolls out sweet words about Christian Union, when all 
he wants is union with him and his kind of all the 
.people he can fool." 

''Samantha, I see I shan't take my old woman, but 
I'se gwine to Greenville, anyhow." 

To which Samantha retorts : "Well, go on and be a 
water dog, and see if I care." 

Our drama unfolds in the home of the Clarks : 

[The curtain rises. Stage is the same as last scene, 
except that more chairs are needed for the larger group 
which eventually appears. As the scene opens the 
three preachers, Clark, Dunn, and Congleton are seated 
in close conference.'] 

General Clark: I tell you this man Campbell is making a 
great impression. He has already converted my wife, 
and Priscilla, our tart little daughter, is calling her 
mother the Campbellites' Lydia. 

John P. Dunn: Well, if he has the truth, which we just 
about agree that he has, then we had better not oppose 
him. The truth will make us free, you know, and it is 
freedom we must have. 

Abraham Congleton: I've done heered that this man is a 
abolitionist. And as for Campbellism, I ain't no Camp- 
bellite. Let's see what he has to say for hisself. 

General Clark: Brethren, I think there is much we need 
to learn about Mr. Campbell and his views. John, will 



you bring him in, and we'll see whether we stand to- 
gether, or fall apart. 

[John P. Dunn ushers Campbell into the parlor.] 

John P. Dunn: [All standing as glasses of water are 
passed] Elder Campbell, as brethren of the Union 
Meeting of Disciples of Christ, we greet you. We 
drink to your health. [They all drink, standing.] 

Thomas Campbell: I bring you the greetings of the Ke- 
formers in old Virginia and a great host beyond the 
Blue Mountains. [He continues as they become 
seated.] I like this company of believers. Tell me 
what is on your mind. 

General Clark: Elder, to be plain, there be many points 
in your teaching about which we need more light. But 
first we must know what you feel about slavery. 

Thomas Campbell: That is a touchy subject and our » 
enemies harass us on all sides about it. In the North 
they say we are slave-drivers because we live in a slave 
state, but in the South we are falsely accused as aboli- 
tionists, because our family owns no slaves. Now the 
truth is, we are for the Christian uplift of the black 
as well as the white. We are loyal citizens of the South, 
abiding by our institutions and supporting our govern- 
ment. We yearn however for the day when all men 
shall be free. 

General Clark: I see no objection. Disciples must be free 
from tests of fellowship about such personal opinions. 
Now Elder, what do you think of the name which Dis- 
ciples ought to wear? 

Thomas Campbell: Often we have been called "Camp- 
bellites," and always either in ignorance or malice, or 
sometimes, facetiously with a wink. We utterly re- 
pudiate that nick-name, and have always contended for 
the Bible name of Christians, or Disciples, as applied 
to individuals, and the name Church of Christ, or 
Christian Church, for the general fellowship. 

General Clark: So far, so good. How often, according to 
your view, should Christians observe the sacrament of 
the Communion? 


Thomas Campbell: We are coming to some difference, I 
know, but the Bible, which as you know, is our only 
creed, teaches that the early Christians came together 
on each Lord's Day to break bread. That is our ex- 
ample and we follow it. We are aware that some 
contend that ceremonial feet washing is a part of Com- 
munion. We understand that the Scriptures do not so 
teach. But we forbear, so no division is made. If they 
have feet-washing, let them go on with it. We think 
that in time, it will disappear if no contention is made. 

General Clark: Brother Campbell, you must know that we 
are wrapped up in many traditions. If we do not go 
fully with you now, you must be patient with us. Give 
us time! I repeat, give us time! We must have the 
light, but only as we can stand it. 

Abraham Congleton: I'm fur you Brother. You've made 
it clean plain to me. But a lot of folks ain't going to 
take this Reform. They're jined to their idols. 

John P. Dunn: This is the day Brother Campbell, for 
which I have long prayed. Won't you stay with us? 
If you must go back to Virginia, please send us your 
son. The Lord being my helper, I will teach this grand 
Reform to my slaves, to my children, to my congrega- 
tions, right on till my day is done. And as to you, 
Elder Campbell, may God speed you 1 [Gentlemen rise, 
as ivomen and girls followed by slaves, enter and join 
the group in a tea party. After tea is served by the 
slaves, the group is seated, with Campbell at right of 
General Clark and Winnifred Rountree at Campbell's 

Thomas Campbell: I think, General, it is time you were 
telling us something of your story. 

General Clark: To make a long story short, my religious 
enemies have twice cast me ''out of the synagogue." 
Once from the Kehukee, where they got so iron-sided 
about their creed and against missions, that they were- 
n't at home to me any more. I published them, and 
Gushing Hassell, of Williamston, wrote back against 
me. Now when I move away shortly to Mississippi, 
he will be sure to say that he chased me out of the 



state. Then I joined up with the Neuse but last October 
at Fort Barnwell they threw me and Brothers Dunn 
and Congleton out, saying we were "Campbellites." You 
see we had come out for the Bible alone for our faith 
and practice. Now their very creed says we should do 
just that, and I had seen that in the creed long before 
I had ever heard of you. They seem to love that creed 
better than the good Book itself, but they don't do what 
their creed says in that particular. So here we stand. 

Thomas Campbell: Folks, I know this is no idle tale. I 
could tell you scores of such stories. Let's hear some 
others. {Campbell turns to Winnifred Rountree.'] Mrs. 
Rountree, let's hear from your congregation. 

Winnifred Rountree: My husband, Jesse, started Roun- 
trees Church nearly seven years ago. It was in the 
Neuse Association. When Elder Dunn got to preaching 
there it came out strong on Reform principles, and 
helped to start the Union Meeting of Disciples, I am 
proud to say. 

Thomas Campbell: I see Mrs. Theresa Dunn over there. 
Mrs. Dunn, what have you to say for Little Sister? 

Theresa Dunn: Elder Campbell, I am slow of speech — 
can't talk much. [Hesitates. } Will say this — Little 
Sister started a year later than Rountrees, but it seems 
like we've been Reformers from the start. My hus- 
band. Elder Dunn, he's a big preacher. He does my 

Clary Dixon: Elder Campbell, my husband, Winsor, says 
that he knows a lot of Free Will Baptists are just 
eager to have you explain to them more fully the Scrip- 
tures. We look for you at Hookerton now very soon. 
And don't you be in any hurry to leave us. 

[The four girls, Patricia McCotter, Priscilla Clark, 
Nancy McLawhorn, and Elizabeth Lanier, escort 
Thomas Campbell to the center of stage and clasping 
hands in a circle about him, the four girls sing the 
following song in proper meter of the period.^ 


For Thee, Father Campbell, we sing 

Home on the Buffalo 
Carolina hearts are building 

Other home for thee. 
We sing our youthful praise 
Pour forth our rapturous lays 
As all our voices raise 

Hail Christian Pioneer! 

Hear our congregations sing 

Bethany's sweet refrain 
Through all Carolina ring 

The Bible's grand appeal. 
One church around the earth 
This cause will give rebirth 
Proclaim its matchless worth 

Hail Christian Union! 

Priscilla Clark: [Taking snuff-box out of her bosom] Here 

Mr. Campbell, is your snuff-box. I found it in the back 

yard. [Chatter of surprise.] 
Thomas Campbell: Lassie, you may keep it for a souvenir. 

I've quit the habit. 
General Clark: [Addressing Thomas Campbell] Elder, 

did you know that some of our servants can preach? 

Come here, Stephen ! [Stephen moves to front of Clark, 

bowing. Clark continues.] 

Say, Stephen's a preacher with a good conscience. 

He won't even play marbles. Tell us Stephen why you 

won't play marbles. 
Stephen: Massa, you know de good Book say ''marbel 


General Clark: [In lordly tone] Stephen get your black 
family out of here, to the kitchen, and bring them all 
in from the quarters, and give us a song and a sermon. 
Give us your best! 

[Stephen gathers his group of negroes to rear of 
stage, where unseen by audience they sing the follow- 
ing song in proper meter of the period, interlarded with 
shouts; ''Glory, Hallelujah," ''Amen, Lord," "Glory to 
God," "I lub my blessed Jesus," etc.] 



Hallelujah ! Church Victorious, 

Join the concert of the sky ; 
Hallelujaji ! Bright and glorious ! 

Lift, ye saints this strain on high 
We poor exiles 

Join not yet your melody. 

Hallelujah! Strains of gladness 

Comfort not the faint and worn 

Hallelujah! Sounds of sadness 

Best become the heart forlorn 

Our offenses 
We with bitter tears must mourn. 

Liza: Give us dat sermon, Stephen! 

Stephen: \_Ir7ntated'\ Shore, Liza! but keep dem chillun 
low ! ! 

[Stephen gives the following sermon tvhich is an 
adaptation of an old version, source unknown.} 

''Strate am de road an' narrow am de paff which 
leads off to glory! Breden — Blevers! You am sem- 
bled dis night in comin' to hear de Word, an' have it 
splained an' monstrated to yu ; yes you is, an' I 'tend to 
splain it as de lite ob libin day. We are all wicked 
sinners har below — it's a fack, breden, an' I tell you 
how it come. You see, 

'Adam was de fust man, 

Eve was de tudder, 
Cane was de wicked man, 

Kase he killed his brudder. 

''Adam an' Ebe were boff black men, an' so was Cane 
and Able. Now I s'pose it seems to strike yer under- 
standings how de fust white man cum. Yassah Gen'l 
Clark and all dem white folks. An' Missus Clark she's 
done and jined dem Cambul-whites. Why, I let you 
know: Den you see when Cane killed his brudder, de 
massa cum an' say, 'Cane, whar's your brudder, Able?' 
Cane say, 'I don't know Massa.' But de nigger node 


all de time. Massa now get mad and cum again — 
speak mighty sharp dis time. 'Cane, whar's yur brud- 
der Able, yu nigger?' Cane now get frightened and he 
turn WHITE; an' if it had not been for dat nigger 
Cane, we'd nebber been troubled wid de sassy whites 
'pon de face of dis circumblar globe. De quire will sing 
de forty-eleventh hymn, tickler meter. Brudder Joe, 
pass around the sassar." 

[Chorus of shouts while curtain falls.'] 



Place: "Free Church," on "The Square," Hookerton, 
North CaroHna. 

Date: May 2, 1845. 

Characters : The Voice 

Elder Thomas J. Latham 
Elder John P. Dunn 
Elder Robert Bond 
Elder Benjamin Parrott 
Elder John L. Clifton 
Elder Jacob Utley 
Winsor Dixon 
Joel Joyner, Jr. 
Laban Wilkinson 
Ann Latham 
Elizabeth Bond 
Clary Dixon 
Theresa Dunn 
Ann Gaylord 
Amy Ann Harper 
Mary Heath 
Cynthia Dunn 
Henrietta Parrott 
' Elizabeth Leggett 
Orpah Moye 
Margaret Utley 
Four Slaves (at rear) 

The Voice: May day is dawning at Pantego, North Caro- 
lina, in the year of our Lord, 1834. The village drowses 
in the sub-tropical warmth of advancing spring. A 
squall from Pamlico Sound sweeps inland, refreshing 
the verdure with timely moisture and tossing the 
forest's branches as clouded day lights the perennial 
pines. At the home of Thomas J. Latham, the guest, 
Thomas Campbell, is closing his tour of the infant 
groups of North Carolina Disciples. He is adjusting 
his traveler's garb against the inclemency of the day; 


putting saddle bags across his restless mare. Affec- 
tionate farewells are given. 

The traveler mounts and turns in his saddle. His 
parting word is that of a father in Israel. He says: 
''It's a long trail, Brother Latham, out of the swamps 
of human tradition to the hill of the Lord's anointed." 

He disappears under the overcast sky. As the sound 
of the hoofs is lost in the distance, Latham speaks to 
his wife: "Nancy, I have a new vision of what we 
must pay for this Christian reformation. We must 
consecrate our all to it. I pledge to it all that I may 
have in tongue, and pen, and purse. Our children must 
be taught and confirmed in it. We must so live that our 
own sons will be inspired for the ministry." 

The flood of immigration westward from the sea- 
board is reaching new peaks. Disciples in the ''Old 
North State" are held to their own resources as to per- 
sonal leadership. Slowly but surely do they rise to 
the occasion. In 1839 the Bethel Conference of Free 
Will Baptists by substantial majority votes that they 
will not turn back after they have gone so far toward 
identity with Disciples. Two years later they likewise 
drop the last clause in their conference name, which 
action, Latham the scribe, thinks so significant that he 
begins conserving the conferential archives for pos- 
terity. Then in 1843 at Wheat Swamp comes the clear 
elimination of the already emasculated creed. Desire 
for formal consolidation with the Union Meeting of 
Disciples is so widespread as to warrant the saying: 
"Well, what are we waiting for?" That in effect is 
what their annual meeting in 1844, says, and a definite 
project for union is put forward for consummation in 

At the entrance to the village postoffice in Kinston, 
two friends meet. It is on the eve of the Christian 
Union Conference at Hookerton. Robert Bond turns 
at the softly spoken salutation of Thomas J. Latham. 

"Robert, what are we going to do at Hookerton next 
Friday? Will we tie up with the Disciples' Union?" 



"Why not, Thomas, we have long been virtually one 

''What about the opposition, Robert?" 

''Well, there will be some opposition as you know. 
Jacob Utley will be there, and I think we had better 
seat him in conference and let him have his say. It 
might help to clear up matters for the open break that 
has to be, sooner, or later." 

"Robert, as last conference had you to visit all these 
churches in this business what did you find out?" 

"Well, our Bethel Conference outnumbers the Disci- 
ples, ten to one, and the Disciples' Union has only two 
preachers now, Dunn and Nobles, but these Disciples 
have been a powerful leaven. We are already united 
in all but name. That, I am sure, will be done next 

"Robert, I have often wondered why the Disciples 
which are growing to be so powerful in the richest 
parts of the big west, don't send us some preachers. 
But I have good news to tell you. My son Josephus 
told me yesterday that he will study for the ministry. 
I pray that he makes a good one." 

"Thomas, I am glad that you keep the conference 
book so well. Remember, that history will look back 
on what we do. May 2, 1845, at Hookerton." 

"Yes, Robert, a hundred years of history, and more !" 

[Curtain rises. Stage is arranged as for congrega- 
tional business meeting in a church auditorium, as of 
that period, with plank seats, having no backs, and 
table at front where sit the moderator, Thomas J. 
Latham, and the clerk, Joel Joyner, Jr. At first there 
is conversational chatter, folloived quickly by silence 
when moderator raps his gavel for order.] 
Moderator Thomas J. Latham: We will now come to order 
and I will ask the clerk to read the matter we are to 
consider here today. 

Clerk Joel Joyner, Jr. : [Reads from the Bethel Conference 
ledger the following record of project under considera- 
tion, as submitted by their last annual conference.'] 



"On motion of Elder B. Parrott, the following pre- 
amble and resolution were offered by Elder Robert 
Bond, and unanimously adopted by the Conference. 

^'Whereas union among the Disciples of Christ is de- 
sirable, as it is in accordance with the will of God, and 
tends to the advancement of Christianity among man- 
kind: and whereas this Conference believes there is a 
number of churches of Christ in this state, that, with 
us, take the Holy Scriptures alone, as their infallible 
guide in religion: Wherefore, 

"Resolved : That this conference propose a Conven- 
tion for the purpose of effecting a union between the 
Churches of Christ represented in this Conference, and 
such other Churches of Christ as are willing to unite 
on "The Faith once delivered to the Saints," 

"Resolved : That the said Convention be at Hooker- 
ton, Greene County, North Carolina, and that it com- 
mence on the Friday before the first Lord's Day in 
May, 1845. 

"Resolved : That the following persons be requested 
to attend said Convention in behalf of this Conference, 
viz : Elders Thomas J. Latham, John L. Clifton, Henry 
Smith, Benjamin Parrott, Robert Bond, William Ma- 
gowns; and Brethren: Seth H. Tyson, Winsor Dixon, 
Reuben Barrow, David Lewis, Jacob McCotter, Abra- 
ham Baker, Joel Joyner, Jr., Laban Wilkinson, and 
Henry D. Lewis ; and that they report the proceedings 
of said Convention to the next Conference, for its satis- 

"Resolved : That Elder Robert Bond be requested to 
visit such Churches of Christ as take the Holy Scrip- 
tures alone as their Rule of Faith and Practice, and 
invite them to meet us by delegates in said Convention, 
in order to promote a Christian Union." [Clerk takes 
his seat.] 

Moderator: How shall we proceed to handle this? 

Robert Bond: I move that the moderator appoint a com- 
mittee to draw up a paper that represents us. 

Benjamin Parrott: I agree. 


Moderator: Moved and agreed that we appoint a com- 
mittee to do this work. Question : Those in favor say, 
Yea. [Chorus of yeas.'] Those opposed say, Nay. 
[No negative votes.] 

Moderator: Very well. I appoint Elders Robert Bond, 
John P. Dunn, and Jacob Utley, on the committee to 
make report. [Committee retires.] Now Brethren 
and Sisters let us sing one of our good old songs. 

[The song leader lines the following hymn, and the 
group on stage sings it in proper meter of the period. 
It is adapted from an old hymnal of that period.] 

Christians, don't you want a teacher, 

Helper, counsellor and guide? 
Don't you want a gospel-preacher? 

Ask the Lord and He'll provide. 
Happy soul who loves and follows 

Jesus speaking in His word; 
Paul and Cephas, and Apollos, 

All are one in Christ the Lord. 

While the gospel is a preaching, 

Jesus stands with open arms, 
Warning sinners and beseeching 

Come, behold the gospel charms. 
Lord remove the false foundation. 

Where their tottering hopes are found ; 
Let the gospel invitation. 

Cultivate the barren ground. 

[Committee returning, file in.] 

Robert Bond: Brother Moderator, the committee majority 
gives you this report: [Reads from manuscript on 
foolscap paper.] 

"Delegates met in Hookerton, Greene County, N. C, 
on the second of May 1845, from the Bethel Conference 
and also from the Union Meeting of the Disciples of 
Christ; and taking into consideration the importance 
of Christian Union in order to the conversion of the 
world to pure and undefiled religion, after a free inter- 


change of views on both sides, agreed, that the Bethel 
Conference and Union Meeting of the Disciples of 
Christ should unite and form one body, upon the fol- 
lowing conditions, viz : That the annual meeting shall 
hereafter be known by the name of "The Bethel Con- 
ference and Union Meeting of the Disciples of Christ" ; 
that the Churches composing said ''Bethel Conference 
and Union Meeting" shall claim no other name than 
that of Churches of Christ ; and that they shall take the 
Bible alone as their only Rule of Faith and Practice, 
and discard as entirely useless, all human creeds, tradi- 
tions, or commandments of uninspired men." 

John L. Clifton: I move the adoption of the report. 

Winsor Dixon: I agree. 

Moderator: Brethren before our vote there must be dis- 
cussion, since the committee itself is divided. Discus- 
sion is now in order. 

Benjamin Parrott: Brother Moderator, that report suits 
me exactly, and everybody in the congregations where 
I serve, except, it might be, a very few. 

Robert Bond: Brother Moderator, I traveled throughout 
the connection and I am positive that this represents 
the overwhelming sentiment of the congregations in the 
Bethel Conference. 

John P. Dunn: Brother Moderator, the Disciples' Union 
has long asked for this, and there is nothing more I 
need to add. 

Cynthia Dunn: Brother Moderator, I know that you 
brethren quote the Bible as saying that women should 
keep silent in the Churches, but about our Lord's busi- 
ness, I must express my heart. Our church at Kinston 
started out on this Christian Union ground, and we 
are going to stay right on it. So, as I see it, we are 
doing just right today. I am proud of it. Our children 
will rise up and call it a blessed day. 

Moderator: We will now hear the opposition. 

Jacob Utley: Brother Moderator, I'm proud to represent 
the opposition. I'm against this report because I know 
that many of my dear brethren won't accept it. We 



were doing well until Campbellism come along ; now it 
is water salvation we hear on every side. And our 
dear old creed! [He sobs.] Let my tongue cleave to 
the roof of my mouth before I say aught against it. 
As long as I have the creed, I can point to it, and say, 
'That's what I believe." If it is just the Bible, every- 
body owns that, and all sorts of doctrine can be 
preached from it. And you have changed our good old 
name. Next thing, you'll be joining secret societies, 
and be taking away our feet-washing. Even the Camp- 
bellite Bible says: ''You also ought to wash one 
another's feet." My mind is made up ! I shall not be 

[Several stand as if to argue, crying Brother Mod- 

Moderator: He said his mind is set. He is beyond our 
argument. Are you ready for the question. 
[Crys of "Question''.] 

Moderator: Let all who favor this report, stand. [All 
stand except Jacob and Margaret Utley.] 

Moderator: Now let the opposers stand. 

[Jacob and Margaret Utley stand. Jacob goes to his 
wife, Margaret and as he leads her out, says ivith em- 

"Come on wife, let's get out of this mess, and don't 
you look back, or you'll be turned into a pillar of salt." 

Winsor Dixon: I do not agree with Elder Utley. But he 
has my sympathy. I've traveled his road. Only by the 
grace of God was I led to light and liberty. Toward 
him and all others whose understanding goes not with 
us, we must have that love that "thinketh no evil." 

Moderator: Others have labored and we have entered into 
their labors. We too have labored. The fruit of our 
toil is to-day's Christian Union. We bequeath it to the 

Our hymn of consecration will be our benediction. 

[All on the stage stand ivhile led in singing by long 
meter, the following.] 


Jesus, I my cross have taken, 

All to leave and follow Thee; 
I am poor, despised, forsaken 

Thou henceforth my all shalt be: 
Perish every fond ambition 

All I've sought, or hoped, or known; 
Yet how rich is my condition 

God and heaven are still my own. 

Haste Thee on from grace to glory. 

Armed by faith, and winged by prayer. 
Heaven's eternal day's before thee, 

God's own hand shall guide thee there. 
Soon shall close thy earthly mission; 

Soon shall pass thy pilgrims days; 
Hope shall change to glad fruition. 

Faith to sight, and prayer to praise. 

[Curtain falls.']